How I feed my daughter (10 months old) in Ayurvedic style…

Hi Everyone,

Some readers asked me about the Ayurvedic style of feeding my daughter that I have mentioned in my earlier blog :

https://enjoyingyourkids.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/hello-world/

So, I thought of putting it down in my next blog… These are the steps I take

1) I feed her every 2.5 / 3 hours..I normally know she is hungry when she gets little cranky or she crawls to her high chair…if I don’t understand her signs then ultimately she tries to eat my arm or my cheeks to show me she is hungry… Basically she is saying, give me food or I will eat YOU 🙂 …….Again, if she is unhappy in the high chair, although its meal time, I put her down to play and digest some more… Ayurveda says always eat only when you are hungry for best digestion…

2) I make sure her chair and table are clean…the logic is that I wouldn’t want to sit on a dirty chair myself …. I also clear the dining table in front of her…She has her own high chair table but I still clear the dining table of all papers, files, laptop & other miscellaneous stuff to give her a pleasant view… Ayurveda says to eat in clean surroundings with sufficient light

3) I stop any music that had been playing and switch off the TV in the background… Again as per Ayurveda there should be no distractions

4) I give her steamed vegetables like broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, beans, peas, potatoes and fruits like apple, pear, banana , cantaloupe, peach , Indian food like suji halwa, khichdi, roti soaked in dal , dal chawal …. I also give her Gerber pouches when we are out…  I give her different kind of stuff of different colors everyday to maintain interest... I remember I gave her Avocado too often in the beginning..now she doesn’t even want to see it !

5) 90 % of the food that I give her is cut into a big size for her to self feed.. I roll up her sleeves, put two bibs and keep one piece of the food on her table…. Imagine cutting a crescent shaped piece of a cantaloupe and keeping it on your child’s table…My daughter relished it …the juice flowed down her wrist into her sleeves.. her whole mouth was sticky… but you know what ? Her eyes were twinkling as if she had had the best meal ever ! She just loved it…

So barring Khichdi , Halwa and dal chawal, she eats everything else on her own… Even for these three items I give her some on her table so that she can feel the texture and smell the aroma while I feed with a spoon...So the Ayurvedic method of eating for best digestion is to involve your five senses… for e.g.

a) She sees the rich green color of Broccoli…Her digestion process starts as soon as she sees her food… You can literally see her mouth watering !

b) She feels its texture in her hands when she holds it

c) She smells the aroma 

d) She tastes the Broccoli

e) She hears the crunchiness of the Broccoli when she bites it

6) I never steam the fruits… I have tasted steamed fruits and I find they taste very odd…. I don’t even make any purees…. I take care not to over steam the vegetables otherwise they get too soft to hold…Its surprising how much a carrot’s taste can change depending on its softness!! My daughter rejects extra soft vegetables immediately !

7) After she stops eating and starts throwing, I give her milk… I don’t know how many ounces she drinks in a day because I never bothered to check…I just ask her if she wants more milk after her burp…She decides how much milk she wants which changes at every meal depending on how much she has eaten… Once she has had milk, I don’t ask her for food again till next meal time…

8) Many times if she doesn’t like something I ask her if she will like some salt and I add salt to it..If she still doesn’t like it I remove that food and give her something else…and if she just wants milk rightaway then I give her the milk. As per Ayurveda, if you don’t like the taste of something, you will not digest it well.…. I never control what and how much she eats from what I have offered her.. I decide what all she can eat and where she can eat…She decides when she wants to eat and how much …

9) Whenever we go out I always give her stuff from my plate to taste... It could be toppings from my pizza or a cake …She normally looks at me expectantly with the expression “Akele Akele Khaa rahi ho ?” (“You are enjoying alone ha ?”)

10) I try to prepare her food with love as often as possible. The energy of the cook is always in the food. We eat not only the food but the emotions of the chef ! 

11) The most important thing I do is I am never ever in a hurry when she is eating… I remember that I had started working when my first born (son) turned one year old …I was always in a hurry to feed him so that I could leave for office … and as it always is the case, he used to take longer and longer to eat ! I used to feed him one spoon and keep the next ready for him…Now I feel that is very pressurizing for the child to eat fast ! Also I didn’t like him dropping crumbs on the table and kept cleaning while they dropped…Its actually so annoying na ? Now, I don’t care… drop as much as you want…we can always clean it later !

I don’t like anyone dictating terms with me for my food then why should I NOT let my children enjoy their food !

The source of my Ayurvedic knowledge is the following books and one website…As you can see I am a fan of Ayurveda !

  1. ›Live Well – The Ayurvedic way to Health and Inner Bliss by Jane Alexander
  2. ›Anjum’s Eat right for your body type inspired by ayurved
  3. ›Yoga and ayurved for Health and Fitness by A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan
  4. ›Discover the secrets of ayurved to balance your mind, body and soul by Anna Selby
  5. ›ayurved – Guide to Traditional Indian Medicine for the West by Frank John Ninivaggi
  6. ›The handbook of ayurved – Dr. Shantha Godagama
  7. ›Talk on Nurturing life with ayurved – How to empower yourself and your family by Ann Revington, international Ayurvedic therapist, Director of Sri Sri ayurved Institute for Education and Wellness
  8. Website : http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/terms/agni-ojas-ama

One of my readers has recommended this book by Ellen Satter about getting your kids to eat:
http://smile.amazon.com/How-Get-Your-Kid-Eat/dp/0915950839/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423241812&sr=8-1&keywords=ellen+satter+how+to+get+your+kid+to+eat

Check it out…

Hope this helps !

Till then, Enjoy your child 🙂

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16 thoughts on “How I feed my daughter (10 months old) in Ayurvedic style…

  1. Hi!

    You have a wonderful way of feeding your little one there!

    I have a 2 year old and I work. So I am in a hurry at times but dinner time and weekends I usually let him be. And yes! I think we Indian moms should get out of the obsession of feeding our kids allll the time!!!

    It is strange how I am absolutely alright with giving him freedom to play in the sand and water as much as he likes, but not so comfortable with him deciding his food limits! It is hard to change, but maybe one step at a time and I will be there sometime..

    I will definitely come back for more!

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  2. As far as i know, one should drink milk immediately after a meal.. It hinders iron absorption and also toddlers dn need milk more than 2 glasses of milk everyday.. Not gud for their system.

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  3. Can you give more details of how you started external food and milk for your time and at what age. Also when you started external food did your daughter except it happily? If not what did you do? Please reply.

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    1. Also when you started external food did your daughter already started sitting and what external foods you started with. I have a 4 year old picky eater and I am pregnant with second one. Want to start things right from starting.

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      1. Hi Namrata,

        Sorry for the delayed response… So , this is what I did with my daughter :
        1) She was on mostly mother’s milk and a bottle of formula twice a week till 6 months of age
        2) When she turned six I started giving her mostly formula in a bottle and food from my plate… For e.g. she had grated fruits , potatoes from my potato bean sabji, spoon of dal from my bowl, small piece of roti softened with dal, dal chaval…. But these were just small pieces here and there…. We eat non spicy food so that helps… Her main nutrition came from the formula.. My pediatrician told me that she can mince food with her gums so I needn’t worry about choking with soft food..
        3) Slowly I started giving her finger food when she got a tooth… So I kept small pieces of banana on her tray and she ate it herself…. I started putting most food in her tray barring khichdi which I still feed… I gave her lot of steamed vegetable like carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, potato, beans as finger food… I find she really loves eating the steamed veges because it gives her a sense of satisfaction that she can eat on her own…
        4) If she doesn’t want something I don’t force her…I have heard that we should start solids for kids when they show an interest in what we are eating which might not happen at 6 months….
        5) I treat my daughter as an adult who knows what she likes and what she doesn’t like… When you give that respect to your child, the journey is much more enjoyable ….

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  4. This article has been a sanity-saver!! We recently returned from india ..and my lo (who just turned 1) has really been missing folks back home.. plus the added problem of jet lag . Has made for a cranky .. extremely picky/moody eater… he stopped eating the food he was eating while we were in india .. he was refusing to eat/drink anything in fact .. other than breastmilk .. after I came across this .. i started steaming veggies… cutting up cheese .. giving him food to play with … it’s not always successful .. some days he’ll eat well ..and then he won’t eat anything at all .. it’s frustrating .. but hey ..he’s a baby and he’ll figure out what we wants to eat ..of only i could figure out what he’s trying to say …
    If he’s not eating ..i let him walk around and get tired and hungrier than he was ..and see if that works… sometimes he doesn’t like to feel anything on his tongue so he’ll push it all out. At those times ..i spoon some home made pureed food into his mouth and he’s ok with that… at least it’s no longer a battle .. and he doesn’t just purse his lips and turn his face away all the time.. I’m still getting a hang of this… but I’m not as stressed out as I was .. so thank you!

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  5. Good information and it is essential to be put into practice, particularly those life is driven by technology. Sensitivity all the time plays crucial role. Generally ‘ I know it already’ blinds us and we ignore. That is why all time sensitivity in every aspect of our life is crucial.

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  6. Hi.
    My little one who has turned 2 last week is not eating at all now I have even forgot the day when he had his full meal. I don’t know what is the issue with him .I have tried everything from puree to chunks .now day he just take smoothies .I mix all boiled veggies d fruits with cereal d milk in it . I feel terrible. He don’t want anything with spoon .I have tried waiting for his hunger but when he is hungry then also he don’t want to eat anything just throw it from his tray . he wants a spoon to feed himself but he don’t allow me to help him d if I try to feed myself he nvr open his mouth .his feeding time increase from an hour but result is almost zero only. What should i do please do give me some suggestions. Doctor say his weight is not good d he need to eat something .but the question is how??

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    1. Hi Shaveta , I am not a pediatrician but I can only suggest you some ideas from my own experience. Normally , I get answers by observing my children and using my mother’s instinct… From what you have written this is what I can suggest :
      1) maybe he wants to eat on his own now … try making more of finger food …I usually lightly steam carrots, broccoli, peas, french beans and let her self feed….
      2) maybe he is bored of the same food every day …
      3) maybe he senses your tension when you offer him food as kids know us better than we know ourselves and he refuses it… however when you offer him smoothies, you are relaxed as you know that this he will surely eat and he senses that and makes it easy for you
      4) maybe he doesn’t get mommy time in the day and finds that he can elongate meal times to get that time from you
      5) maybe its just a developmental thing and he is on the edge of a new milestone and is cranky for that reason

      What I would do is Relax… Kids makeup for lost weight very fast so don’t worry so much… I would give a multivitamin and then relax around the food… Just give him what he wants for e.g. smoothies…. not push him to eat… if he says no to food then don’t ask him again and again as that irritates them more… let him feel hunger and walk around to you when you are eating at the table asking for food… don’t worry about the doctor too unless you think he will be malnourished…kids do this all the time…they are moody…. I usually find answers by just observing them closely…the answer always lies there..!
      also you might like to read my other blog https://enjoyingyourkids.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/hello-world/ to know what not to do !

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  7. Which cup or sippy cup do u use to feed milk ?I have 15 month old boy…so thats why asking. And do you have any food chart like something informal you can share what are u giving in morning at what time and same for snacks…afternoon lunch and dinner daily that will help a lot and how u feed her khicri or rice? So i could not what to try different daily.

    Thanks alot

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    1. I use the lifefactory glass sippy bottles for my daughter now because she is almost 3 years old . However you could use the plastic sippy bottles . Am sorry I don’t remember any brand in particular as my daughter didn’t really like the plastic sippy cups . I basically give her whatever I eat . So her food routine is very different now from my blog . Morning around 7:30 she has either oatmeal or pancakes . At 10 she has a fruit . At 12 she has lunch with me . It is mostly dal rice and vegetables. Then she has a fruit and dry fruits around 3 pm … and we eat dinner at 6 which is generally roti , paratha with a gravy like paneer or potato or a dal … my kids always have an option of eating toast if they don’t want to eat what we are eating …now she eats everything on her own . I don’t feed her at all . Earlier , I fed her khichri with spoon while she played with some khichdi on her table … now she eats on her own … and we have a rule that food is only served in dining table …. no eating food while playing or watching tv .

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